Current travel restrictions for Japan
With more and more vaccines developed and brought into use, it finally looks like the world might move forward just enough to restore some normality to our lives. For those wanting to travel, there is finally some hope of doing so safely. But what are the current travel restrictions? And, is it possible to enter Japan at all?
Can you enter Japan right now?
The simple answer is “no”.
Although, flights to Japan operate at a limited capacity, only Japanese nationals and people with valid resident permits are allowed to enter.
How do you get a Japanese visa right now?
Visa applications are currently not processed. You can apply for the Certification of Eligibility in Japan, but the visa application in the embassy is still being suspended.
The only exception to this is/could be if you have close family members in Japan or if you’re a doctor or a specialist researcher.
What is the entry procedure with a valid residency card?
You are required to take a PCR test and get negative before your flight. On arrival, you have to show proof of the test to the immigration officers.
Then, you will take another test. Once your test result is negative, you are allowed to go land-side. And you will have to self isolate for two weeks.
You can do so at a hotel, rental apartment, home of your parents or basically any private residence that is not a house share.
You can’t take public transport to that location. You can either rent a car, have someone pick you up, or walk. Yes, taxis are considered public transport.
You also have to get at least two GPS tracking apps on your phone and LINE app.
In the unlikely scenario that your second test turns out positive, you will likely be guaranteed air-side, and possibly sent back to your home country.
All this can change and on a whim. With constant updates on the new strains of the virus, you might get held up for longer even if you pass the tests and do everything right.
What about a Japanese visa in the future?
Yes, definitely, maybe. The thing is, the Japanese government is doing a great job of being ambiguous. There are several plausible reasons for this, but that is another article in itself.
There surely will be Visa in the future. We just don’t know when yet. If you have a certificate of eligibility issued before the pandemic, you might want to renew it. The official immigration page suggests that you can do so till the end of March.
The information the Japanese immigration authority puts out at the moment can be confusing. The best thing to do is to consult a Japanese embassy in the location you plan to travel from.
For some odd reason, embassies tend to get more information than the immigration authority in Japan.
There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment everywhere, not just in Japan. Let us try our best to stretch out that little what’s left of our patience and hope that things will be better soon.